In back of a small record store in Long Beach called Fingerprints Music, Mayor Robert Garcia met with colleague and Democratic counterpart Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, in front of members of the Long Beach community to announce his support for the former San Francisco mayor’s upcoming campaign for California Governor.
During the endorsement, Garcia shared two moments in his career that led to his support of Newsom to the audience consisting of Long Beach community members. Serving as Long Beach’s first Latino and LGBT mayor, Garcia retold the significant impact Newsom’s support of same sex marriage has had on his life.
Garcia recalled his time in college during 2014, when he was struggling with coming out to his parents.
“I remember clearly watching the TV and seeing Gavin Newsom as the mayor of San Francisco telling the country and the world that gay people, that the LGBTQ community were equal and should be allowed the right to marry,” Garcia said. “It impacted me. A piece of my heart was really really touched by that moment.”
Mark Stovall, a resident of Long Beach, was one of many locals to who came out to see Newsom firsthand.
“I have a couple friends voting for [Newsom] but they’re not impartial,” Stovall said. “I need to come here and do my own research.”
Garcia also recalled his time campaigning for mayor of Long Beach when Newsom endorsed him. When Garcia’s political opponent, Bonnie Lowenthal, won endorsements from numerous powerful Democrats including Governor Jerry Brown, Newsom took a risk with his support of Garcia’s mayoral campaign.
“Gavin said, ‘I’m going to endorse you for mayor against the party, against every elected state official,’ probably against his best interest at the time,” Garcia said.
Following his recent endorsement by Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg last Monday, Newsom has been considered a frontrunner in his campaign, according to a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.
During his first run for governor in 2010, Newsom received an endorsement from Bill Clinton but after trailing Jerry Brown in the polls, he dropped out of the race. This will be the politician’s second run for governor.
Along with the support of same sex marriage, Newsom plans to take a progressive stance on issues including immigration, single-payer healthcare, the legalization of marijuana and stricter gun controls laws. At the event, he also touched on some of his major platform issues including housing taxes and the growing marijuana industry following its legalization in California.
“It’s a social justice issue, it’s a racial justice issue, it’s an economic justice issue,” said Newsom, regarding the benefits of legalizing marijuana. “The whole point of legalization was to bring this industry to the light of day.”
As a huge opponent of the G.O.P. Tax Bill that recently passed, Gavin stated that the bill could hinder his plans for office. With his proposal to increase the affordable housing tax credit, California could see $2.5 billion in tax credit. However, under the new tax plan, the state could lose as much as $2 billion in federal tax credit.
“You have to be flexible,” Newsom said. “There’s nothing that’s etched in stone here. What works literally in the moment, in 48 hours may no longer work.”